Waste, Profit and Education

[This is a first in a series on how “profit” and corporations continue to erode and threaten the fabric of education – learning. There appears to be “learning” and “progress” but the results are limited except for profit statements.]

save our librariesPutting 2 and 2 together.

Sometimes, “learning” is about connecting the dots and putting 2 and 2 together. The ancient Greeks valued analogy and thought it the basis of all thought. I do too. Show me a man who is vividly metaphorical and I’ll show you what we should promote in education.

In that vein, I recently put “2 and 2 together”.

First item: English Language Instructor in Iraq. $149,000/year. First $99,000 tax free


Second item: Montgomery Mobile Library service cut

= Madness.

Now maybe you aren’t adding things up like I am – so I’ll explain a little.

Every day, libraries and summer reading programs are closing throughout America (and Canada!). EVERY DAY. [I wanted to put up this article but some corporation wants me to pay $35 to read it!) Stephen Krashen, bless his fixated heart, continues to pound this pulpit and press for students to have access to reading material and support – it is the best and quickest way to educate our youth.

However America wants to spend millions on lessons in a secure compound to teach the Iraqi elite and military English. Is that absurd, or am I the only sane person in ELT?

I don’t mind the hard working teachers (30 of them) getting great money. Not at all. However, where an English language teachers is making this much cash, there is a lot more being wasted away, thrown away. It is education by dollar bills. Corporations enter the teaching market extensibly to milk governments dry and at the end of the day – little will be shown for this except the stretch marks on the cash cow (libraries closing, budget cuts to schools). It is taking away other ways to use that money – instead of a secure compound, take it to the streets, build schools and teach “the people”. Or support a library in America. One teacher’s salary would keep a library and staff of 5 in “smallville” America open! Kaplan reported a profit of $109 million last year! – I ask (rhetorically), how much “learning” really happened?

Isaac Asimov wrote, “When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself.” Amen.

Next up for me – the corporations in ELT and how they “pretend” to make learning happen. The Confidence Game.

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Teacher trainer, technology specialist, educational thinker...creator of EFL Classroom 2.0, a social networking site for thousands of EFL / ESL teachers and students around the world.

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